• Personal

    You Always Have a Choice

    There are two individuals who come to my mind when I think about choices in life. Both of these people are in a spot where they’ve been beaten down in life — their choices have gotten the better of them. This has made these individuals very pessimistic. They don’t feel that life will ever get any better. They feel they’ve just had bad luck, and that things aren’t ever likely to change.

    You Always Have a Choice | She Will Rise

    What both of these individuals fail to realize, however, is that, if they could be open to the possibilities, they could begin to see that it’s all very much about choicesmindset, perspective, and practice.

    They can CHOOSE to see things differently. They can CHOOSE to work on their mindset. They can CHOOSE to work on finding a way to either (a) escape their current less-than-ideal circumstances, or (b) make their circumstances more bearable. It’s all a matter of CHOICE.

    God gave each one of us free will. And it hasn’t been revoked just because we got ourselves stuck in some “mud”. We can choose to continue playing the woe-is-me “victim” and settle for the mediocre life we’re in. OR, we can choose to make changes!

    It absolutely breaks my heart to see people giving up and settling for a life that is so much LESS THAN what is available for us!

    Trust me, I’m not always the optimist. Goodness knows, I’ve gone through a lot of stuff in my own life that could have left me hopeless (and just about did!). Heck, I’m still dealing with circumstances that are far from ideal! But, I also know that it could be worse… and it’s not (which I thank the Lord for).

    I just keep leaning on the Lord for my strength. He has given me hope to see that my current circumstances are not my final destination, and that “it can be well with my soul, even when it’s not with my circumstances”. God has used my less-than-perfect situation to teach me that life really is all about choices, mindset, perspective, and practice.

    What I truly hope is that I can help others realize that only they are responsible for what their life turns out like. It’s YOUR choice. If you don’t like your life, make a change. {Start here}.

  • Identity,  Personal,  Work

    Who Says?

    Have you ever gotten into something, realized it wasn’t the greatest fit for you, and then… accepted your fate and stayed put? Maybe you thought it was the “responsible” thing to do, or that, since you’d already invested this much time in it, you may as well keep going. But, what if I told you that it was okay to quit — to let it go?

    Who Says? | She Will Rise

    So often, we blindly follow rules and perform actions without questioning why. We accept that things just are the way they are, because that’s how it’s “always been”, or we do things a certain way because it’s what is “expected”. The problem is, we then end up just going through the motions in life, and things continue to feel boring, or routine, or mundane. We continue to do and think things, but then wonder why we feel so unfulfilled.

    Thanks to a couple of books I read, recently (see them here & here), I feel like I’m starting to wake up to the possibilities.

    Here’s a question for you: Who decided that you must keep doing things that way? What would happen if you changed things up? And, who said you can’t do this or that? What if you all-of-a-sudden just…did? (obviously, I’m not meaning anything illegal, or morally corrupt, okay?)

    Seriously, though… I think far too many of us are left with unsatisfying and unfulfilling lives because we forget the following 4 things:

    QUESTION

    It’s okay — and even GOOD! — to question things; to ask “why”. Until I was in my late teens, I never really questioned my faith or the things I’d been taught in church, or even the way we did things in that church. Yet when I learned to question, I saw the flaws, and I realized I’d fallen into legalism. My faith has actually grown by leaps & bounds, ever since I learned to question why I do & think the things I do.

    BE CURIOUS

    Despite what they say about our poor feline friend, curiosity won’t (normally) kill you. Instead, it makes life brighter, and it adds an element of fun! We are born curious… it’s how we learn! Which leads me to…

    TRY

    You know that thing you’ve been wanting to do, but you’ve put off doing out of hesitation? What would happen if you took a leap of faith, and just gave it a try? Sure, you might fail at it. Would that really be as bad as you think? Isn’t regretting chances not taken ultimately worse? Don’t let your fear hold you back, and leave you with end-of-life regrets. Take chances! Have an open-minded attitude. Decide you will try the thing, and if it doesn’t work out (or you end up really disliking it), you can just let it go and try something else! You have the freedom to choose. Use it! (and hey… maybe it will work out — maybe you’ll succeed — and you’ll have a blast! Only one way to find out!)

    practice makes progress | She Will RisePRACTICE

    All too many of us (myself, included!) tend to forget that it takes practice to become good at just about everything. All of us start at Level Zero when we’re first trying something new. Every single one of us starts as a beginner — a “newbie”. And that’s an okay place to be. Why? Because you can only go UP from there! By practicing, you may never reach “perfection”, but you –guaranteed!– will see progress. Yes, it may take a while. The more you do a thing, however, the better you’ll get at it. Keep practicing, and you’ll keep “leveling up“! It’s the only way to succeed.

    So, the next time you’re feeling stuck or bored, ask yourself if you need to throw out the old ways, and try something new. Be curious about how you can change things up. And, when you find something that does bring a spark back to things, accept your “beginner” status, and commit to practicing until you’ve gotten to your preferred level of excellence. And, don’t forget: nothing is ever permanent (except death)You ALWAYS have the freedom to make a different choice.

  • Personal

    The Importance of Mindset

    Today I’m sharing a snippet from my eBook. This is from the chapter on the importance of thoughts and mindset.

    The Importance of Mindset | She Will Rise

    For years, I’ve struggled with low self-esteem. I could blame it on my parents’ divorce, or any number of things. But that wouldn’t change my situation. If anything, dwelling on blame, resentment, and/or any other negatives only adds to the problem.

    What I have been coming to discover, recently, is that so much of life depends on our thoughts and our mindset. In pretty much every area of life, how you look at things determines how they are. It’s very much about perspective. Even the Bible agrees! Proverbs 23:7 {KJV} says, “As a man thinks in his heart, so is he.” And, Philippians 4:8 encourages us: “…whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable—if there is any moral excellence and if there is any praise—dwell on these things.”

    God frequently reminds us, throughout Scripture, to PAY ATTENTION… to keep alert, and to be aware. The reason for this is because we are in a constant war — not physically, but mentally and spiritually; good vs. evil; our flesh against our spirit.

    Joyce Meyer tells us that our mind is the battlefield — our battles are won or lost there. Think about any temptation you’ve faced. If you kept thinking about the thing, eventually you would give in, right? But, if you don’t allow yourself to dwell on thoughts of the thing — if you dismiss these tempting thoughts right away — then you are able to stand strong and resist.

    Nowhere has this been more evident to me than in my eating and my attempts to lose weight. The more I think about eating when I’m not hungry, the weaker I get. Eventually, I have made enough excuses and rationalizations in my mind that I end up giving in.

    However, on the (still rare) occasions when I dismiss the tempting thoughts outright, and distract myself with other things, I find myself victorious, and moving forward!

    Taking control of our thought life, then, is so extremely important! It’s a cliche now, since it is said so much, but it remains true:

    YOU NEED TO CHANGE YOUR THOUGHTS TO CHANGE YOUR LIFE!

    Something that has been helpful to me in becoming more aware of my thoughts has been to write out the negative things I think, and then — directly beneath the negatives — write out the positive alternatives. Psychologists call this exercise “reframing”. So, for example:

    Negative: I cannot lose this excess weight.
    Positive: I am taking baby steps toward losing my excess weight, and getting healthy

    Negative: I am so stupid when it comes to this!
    Positive: How can I go about learning more about this so that I feel more confident and capable?

    It is important to remember that Satan will do anything and everything he can to “kill, steal, and destroy” what is good and positive in our lives. He is intent on keeping us stuck in the mediocre and mundane, so he puts negative thoughts in our minds to keep us from living in the Truth. He knows that if we get control of our thoughts, he’s going to have an awfully hard time making us miserable from that point on.

    Another great way to change your mindset is to “reframe” with Scripture. Logan Wolfram, in her book, “Curious Faith”, calls this “Praying the Opposites”.

    Say you’re feeling discouraged. The opposite of this would be feeling hopeful. So you would then look up verses in the Bible that talk about hope, and you’d use those verses to pray to God, asking for Him to “renew your mind” according to what His Word says.

    You can do this with the negatives you are thinking about yourself, as well! For example:

    Negative: I cannot do this!
    Positive: Philippians 4:13 says that “I can do ALL THINGS through Christ, who strengthens me!”

    Negative: I will never be able to pay my bills this month.
    Positive: Philippians 4:19 tells me that “My God will supply all of {my} needs, according to His riches…”

    So, don’t let the devil win! Take control of your thought life, and pray for a renewed mindset. It’s the only way to walk in victory.

    WHAT NEGATIVE THOUGHTS DO YOU BATTLE WITH THAT YOU CAN TURN INTO POSITIVES? HOW WOULD YOU REFRAME THEM?

  • Faith,  Identity,  Work

    Called To Be a Writer

    Have you ever tried to ignore something, but just couldn’t seem to escape it? I most definitely have. Let me tell you a story…

    Called To Be a Writer | She Will Rise

    For my 10th birthday, an older friend gave me my very first diary. I still have that book today. It’s got a mint-green cover, and the pages are heavily perfumed. It has its own lock and key.

    I remember, as a young girl, weaving stories in my mind as I drifted off to sleep each night. Often times they included living in a mansion, and/or horseback riding through the woods on my grandparents’ property.

    Sometimes I would even speak my stories into my brown Fisher Price tape recorder.

    In grade school, one of my favorite things was when the teacher would fill all three chalkboards with notes for us to copy into our notebooks… then erase it all, and fill all three boards again. I loved taking notes! And I still take notes from every nonfiction book I read, actually!

    I completed NaNoWriMo in 2006. I wrote 50,911 words in 28 days. My novel still sits on my shelf, unfinished.

    To this day, I keep a journal. I don’t write in it daily, any more — only when I desperately need an outlet for my emotions, and/or I need to sort through the tangled messes of my thoughts. Writing things out almost always brings clarity.

    I oftentimes “pray” on paper, as well, seeking God’s take on the issues I’m dealing with. I’ll write out what I feel He’s saying to my spirit, in response, also. This practice has truly helped to deepen my faith, and draw me closer in relationship with my Lord.

    Also, I’ve been a blogger since 2005. It started as a way to record the books I was reading, then morphed into a community of others who loved the book-related memes I posted each week, and then evolved over time into a place where I now teach others the things that I’ve learned, thus far… and what I am still in the process of learning.

    pencils

    You would think, on reading all of the above, that I’d classify myself as a Writer. Yet, for the longest time, I’ve fought that title. I’ve even told God that I don’t want to be a Writer. And yet, the thread of writing has been woven throughout the tapestry that is my life, and it seems that I, like Jonah, must surrender to the call.

    I realized something, this past week, that has truly helped me to start the process of accepting this: that I don’t actually hate to write. In fact, I have to grudgingly admit that, yes, I even like writing. As I said earlier, writing is how I sort through my thoughts; it’s always been how I am best able to express myself.

    The “aha!” came when I saw that what I don’t like is writing for others… and, in asking myself whythat is, it all came down to one thing:

    PERFECTIONISM (aka: Fear)

    …I don’t like writing out posts for my blog because I feel like my writing has to be “perfect” and “polished”, or else I won’t be seen as the professional that I’m aiming to be.

    Yet, every professional was once a beginner. And God even tells us to not “despise the days of small beginnings” (Zechariah 4:10).

    I guess I need to learn to give myself more grace — to accept my “beginner” status when it comes to writing, and to not mentally kick myself for being so inconsistent.

    After all, I teach others that practice makes progress… and I think progress is as close to “perfection” as we’re going to get, this side of heaven. So, if I want to feel more confident in this role as a Writer, I just need to keep practicing. The more I do it — the more I write — the better I’ll get.

    ::

    I’m curious… is there some title or calling that you’ve been trying to run away from? Share in the comments. I’d love to know I’m not alone in this!

  • Multipassionate

    Passion vs. Curiosity

    Follow Your Passion“. It’s a phrase we’ve heard over and over and over. Yet, recently, I was introduced to another view of this concept, thanks to author Elizabeth Gilbert. She has had a change of heart … and so have I.

    Passion vs. Curiosity | She Will Rise

    Elizabeth Gilbert was asked to speak at one of Oprah’s Super Soul Sessions, a while back. Her topic was titled “Flight of the Hummingbird: The Curiosity-Driven Life“. This is the talk she gave:

    And, because some of you may be more like me, preferring to read, over watching the video (though, I do still highly recommend you watch the video, if you have time … Liz is a great speaker!), I’ve transcribed the video for your convenience:

    [Oprah gives intro] [Liz:] Sweeties! Sweethearts, my loves, we’re here, in so much grace… Thank you. Thank you so much.So listen, I’m here today to do something that, I have to be honest with you, that I never in a million years thought I would ever do. I am here today to speak out against passion. You heard me right: against passion.And I know it sounds very strange and weird, but I want you to stay with me on this. Because I really believe what I have to say here, today, may bring a measure of comfort, specifically to some of you, in particular, and I’m hoping it really will.

    But I have to back up for a minute, and just say, to come clean, that I am the leastlikely person in the world ever to become a committed anti-passion spokeswoman. The fact is that I have led my entire life guided by passion. Particularly in regard to my work as a writer, which is a vocation I have been chasing my entire life with a love that you could call obsessive.

    I can barely even remember a time before I knew that I was going to be a writer, that I had to be a writer, that I needed to be a writer, that I was going to be a writer, no matter what it took.

    I was probably like 5 or 6; I was a book-loving child. And, I remember I pieced it together, at last, that books do not just magically appear out of the ether, but that people make them. They create them, from their imaginations. And that kind of person who does that, is called a Writer. And once I had that piece of information, that was it: my destiny, from that point forward, was sealed, I made my decision. And I have never veered from that passion since.

    I have to be very honest with you, because it would be disingenuous of me to play at anything else: Passion has worked for me. Passion was the thing that kept me writing in the new, early years, before anybody else except me cared about what I was doing. For a long time, I made a living as a diner waitress, and a bartender. And passion was the thing that made me come home from those long shifts, smelling like other people’s French fries, with really sore feet, after a really long day at work, and then I would take off my shoes and sit down, and go to my real work. And that real work was Writing. I did that, day after day and year after year. Even when I was getting nothing out of it, except for rejection letter, after rejection letter, after rejection letter. But I didn’t care.

    I didn’t love it. No one loves being rejected. But passion — my passion for writing was so big that it made me stay in the game, even through all of the obstacles. And then, finally, I got lucky enough to become a published writer. Then, in 2006, I got reallylucky. I wrote this book called, “Eat, Pray, Love” — you remember that one? — and, it became really successful, much to my surprise. And as soon as that happened, as soon as I became successful, THIS started to happen… people started putting a microphone in my hand, and they would send me up on stage, and they would ask me to stand there and speak about how I had gotten there, and what I had learned.

    And so, of course, the minute I had the opportunity to speak in public about the thing I cared about and believed in the most, what did I talk about? Passion. What else would it have been? There was no other subject, as far as I was concerned. Passion, to me, was everything. It was the beginning and the end, the Alpha and the Omega, the one true path, and the only way forward. And so, in audiences across the world, I would just stand there on stage and I would say some variation of this, night after night.

    “You know what you have to do, every single one of you? You have to identify your passion. You have to identify that tower of flame within you that will be your guiding, purposeful light. You have to find that thing that makes you feel like your head is on fire, that makes you feel like there’s a soul revolution going on deep inside your rib cage, that makes you feel like you would sacrifice and risk everything for that thing, that nothing else matters, that thing that you KNOW you were born to do. Then you have to get every molecule of your being, and you’ve got to funnel it directly and powerfully into that thing, that one thing, and no other thing. And you’ve got to focus on that forever, and that way, and only that way, will you succeed.”

    I’d be up there on stage, and I’d be quoting Vince Lombardi, and I’d be quoting Winston Churchill, and I’d be quoting Eleanor Roosevelt, and I’d be quoting Jonathan “freakin’” Livingston Seagull, and I’d be telling people that ‘if you can dream it you can be it’, and that you’ve got to ‘jump so the net will catch you’, and ‘what would you do if you knew you could not fail’, and you guys… you know all the bumper stickers, you probably have them on your car, right?

    We all know these slogans. But I did it with enormous sincerity, because I really believed it. I believed that I was doing a public service by telling people that they had to live their lives exactly the same way that I had always lived mine. I preached that, because that was my fundamental truth, that was my certainty. And then, something happened.

  • Faith,  Identity

    Something More: Why You Feel Restless & What To Do About It

    Do you ever feel that restlessness inside? … The one that says, there’s gotta be more to life than this?

    I believe that’s what is meant when the Bible says that God “has set eternity in [our] hearts…” (Eccl. 3:11b).

    Something More: Why You Feel Restless, and What to Do About It | She Will Rise

    Too often, we tend to get caught up in our earthly life, and we forget that this earth isn’t our home. We are here for a purpose — one that’s so much greater than ourselves.

    It’s easy, in the busyness of our day-to-day, to fall for the lie that our lives our all about us. But they aren’t. God placed each one of us right where we are, at this point in time, surrounded by these people, “for such a time as this“. We have a role to play for His kingdom… a purpose He predestined for us before we were even born!

    So, that restlessness you feel? That’s your wake-up call, reminding you that you have work to do … that it’s time to stop living for yourself, and to start partnering with God so He can show you the special job He’s assigned to you.

    Can this work get done without you? Maybe. But, it won’t be in the way that God originally intended. And, think about it this way: You’ve got a unique blend of your own style & experiences that, perhaps, can reach someone better than anyone else could. So, these people could end up missing out, because you neglected to take up the role you were created for!

    Personally, I count it a privilege that God would want a messed-up gal like me to play a part in His kingdom building! You’d think that a perfect God would want perfect people to help Him with such an important job! But, nope … He recruits from the pit… from the mud & mire. While I may not see myself as equipped or qualified, God says, “Come on, girl! I’ll give you everything you need for the job. Just come as you are. It’s all good.” ♥

    So, the next time you feel that restlessness within, stop and ask God to make it clear to you what He has for you to do. I promise you, He’ll show you the way.

  • Health,  Personal

    Becoming Intentional About Your Life

    Do you know what you really want from life? I don’t just mean materially. I mean, do you know what you are working towards? Or, are you drifting through life, letting circumstances take you where they will?

    Do you know that you have a choice in the matter?

    It can be really frustrating to feel aimless and out of control. I think a lot of us tend to forget that we can choose our path.

    Wouldn’t you rather know where you’d like to go, and then have a plan for getting there? I know I would.

    Of course, this obviously doesn’t mean you can’t adjust things as you go along. Life is unpredictable, so we have to adjust, really. We have to remain flexible. And, feelings and preferences change over time, as well. So, where you end up may not be what you hope for, right now, in this season of life.

    And yet, it is still worth creating a plan and being intentional about your direction in life. It helps you to feel more in control, and to find more fulfillment. Instead of drifting, now you are living with purpose to your days.

    For myself, I would like to reach the following goals in my life:

    • Shrink down to a healthier weight
    • Live a more active and healthy lifestyle
    • Earn enough money from self-employment to live financially secure
    • Make an impact on others’ lives through my work
    • Buy property & have my dream-house built (the one I designed, myself)
    • Continue to grow, both spiritually and professionally
    • Lead a teen girls’ Bible study group
    • Travel… see more of the world
    • Support my favorite charities (KivaMercy House GlobalRoom to Read)

    Having this list, and knowing what I would really love to accomplish, helps me to know what steps I need to take in order to achieve those goals.

    For example, in my health pursuits, I already know –from trial & error– that intuitive eating is the best method for me. But, in addition to that, I’ve also come to realize that my dependence on processed foods is no longer working for me (if it ever did!), because I am developing more and more health issues. I’m beginning to see how much truth there is in what they say about your body needing nutrients, not just calories (in other words, our choice of food matters, even more than how often or how much we eat).

    I was super excited, recently, to find a blog called, “Hello, Nutritarian!“, which is based off of the principles found in Dr. Joel Fuhrman’s books (“Eat to Live; “The End of Dieting“).* This blog provides recipes and guidance on how to eat a cleaner, more whole-foods based diet. And that’s just what I know I need.

    Also in regards to my health, I came across a gal, last week, who was once where I am at (size 18, currently), but who went on to win a figure competition (which is not something I am aiming for!), and to maintain a completely transformed lifestyle. She is now active every day, eating healthy/clean, and she’s changing others’ lives by paying-it-forward as a healthy living coach (same company I’m with).

    This gal’s total life transformation really inspires me — especially since I’m currently at the same weight she started at. If she can do it, I know that I can achieve similar things. It takes a decision —that I am no longer willing to put up with my poor health habits– and making a full commitment to myself and to the better life that I know is possible!

    The great thing about all of these health goals, for me, is that I am in a position to help others change their lives… just by being an example for them to follow. By committing to a healthier lifestyle for myself, I have a chance to allow others to watch me and to see that they, too, can have the success they seek (you can, as well!). We are all in it together! And, because this is my work, I earn my living from helping others transform their lives. So, that also ties into my goal of becoming financially secure.

    Related: Kickstart Your Health sessions

    I believe we all have what it takes to achieve our goals. But, we first need to be aware that we have a choice in the direction our lives are going to go, and then we have to know what it is we want so that we can make a plan, and make a decision to go after it. We need to commit to doing whatever is necessary. It won’t be easy — it’s going to demand hard work and sacrifices — but I know that it’ll be worth it.

    Here’s to living your life on purpose!

  • Faith,  Work

    Overcoming Distraction (Squirrel!)

    If you have seen the Disney/Pixar movie, “Up“, you probably caught the reference in today’s post title. Yes, I’m talking about… what, again? Oh, right — distraction.

    Overcoming Distraction (Squirrel!) | She Will Rise

    The Dark Side has many tricks and tools in its arsenal to keep us from living the full & abundant life God promised us. Some of those schemes include:

    Discouragement | Fear | Procrastination | Gluttony | Apathy | Convenience | Mediocrity | Doubt | Ease | Instant Gratification | Laziness | Overwhelm | Pride | Greed | Lust | Anger | Jealousy

    …and, of course, DISTRACTION.

    The devil knows that we are easily distracted, so he uses this to keep us from doing what God asks us to do, and he slyly makes us forget what is really important. If he can distract us, then we don’t complete the mission we were sent here for (to make God known & bring Him glory). And that makes the devil really happy.

    I have been falling prey to distraction, a lot, lately. This is part of why my blog post schedule has been somewhat erratic. I’ve gotten distracted by the side-hustle I’m building, the books I’m reading, and the worst culprit of them all — social media.

    Revelation Wellness shared a quote, the other day, that really hit home, for me, on this. It said:

    “My concern is that our generation will miss their destiny because
    they are too busy scrolling through everyone else’s.” (Christine Caine)

    Whoo-boy!

    So, how do we combat this distraction? How do we wake up? Is this even possible?

    It is absolutely possible. “With God, ALL THINGS are possible!” And it starts with prayer.

    Actually, let me back up a bit. In reality, it starts with knowing that you have committed your life to God, by accepting His free gift of being saved from sin, through faith… which then gave you the Holy Spirit within you as your Counselor, Guide, and a sort of holy GPS system!

    The Spirit will nudge you to pay attention (maybe He’s using this very blog post!), and that is how you start “waking up” to the devil’s schemes. Once you start to become aware of what’s going on, then you can start fighting back! And, prayer is a good place to start.

    Prayer is our call to God to say, “Hey, I could use some supernatural help here, please!” Because really, we cannot fight the devil on our own. We can try, but it won’t last — it doesn’t really work. We need God’s help in this battle.

    So, we pray and ask God to open our eyes to all of the ways that the Dark Side is trying to distract us and keep us from our destinies. And we ask God to give us focus and strength to combat the temptation toward those distractions. Then we need to trust that God will help us (for when we ask for something that is already God’s will for us, we can have FULL confidence that we’ve already got it — it’s a done deal!).

    And finally, we then need to get to work, and DO what God has been asking us to do…pursue that which we have been distracted from.

    So again, to overcome distraction (or, any of the Dark Side’s other tactics), we need to:

    1. WAKE UP
    2. PRAY
    3. BELIEVE
    4. TAKE ACTION!

    A quick example for you:

    That quote from Revelation Wellness is what the Holy Spirit used to start waking me up. I recognized what had been happening (that I had been doing other things, rather than what God wants me to do), I prayed for focus and believed God would help me out, and then I took action — I left my computer turned off, this morning, in order to get this blog post written FIRST, before the online world could suck me into its distractions.

    Like I mentioned earlier, maybe the Spirit is using this very post to get your attention! If so, don’t hesitate… pray, believe, and take action, today. It’s the best way to fight back against the enemy. Don’t let him steal another day. You’ve got this!

    PS… As I wrote this post, my pens kept dying! I had to switch them out twice! Obviously, the Dark Side was working hard to keep me from sharing this with you! 

  • Health,  Miscellaneous

    Relationship Red Flags: Signs of an Abusive Relationship

    They are always there. But you’re probably not looking for them. Maybe you weren’t taught to. Yet, it’s so important that you are aware!

    Relationship Red Flags | SheWillRise.ca

    I’m talking about the signs… red flags that warn you to pay attention, take notice. Subtle clues that things aren’t as bright as they may seem.

    I wasn’t taught to be aware of these things. (Then again, I didn’t have the Internet so readily available back then, either!) So, I blindly stumbled through my dating years and into marriage, naive about how to guard my heart.

    I see it so clearly now. A person’s true character will always be revealed, eventually. This is part of the reason why it’s better to take your time in getting to know someone.

    Does this person that you’re dating treat everyone kindly — from the CEO to the janitor? Do they support you in your dreams, and listen to your ideas? Do they comfort you when you’re upset?

    Too often, we get so caught up in the googly-eyed part of romance that we get swept away, and forget to listen to our intuition. Family and friends will sometimes see the “red flags” before we do (since they aren’t as close to the situation), and they’ll offer up warnings; they’ll state their concerns. Problem is, we’re so taken by our partner that we brush off these well-meaning comments. We think, “They just don’t know him/her like I do”. Or, we make excuses for our partner’s behavior.

    Heads-up: That right there is a red flag. You should never have to make excuses for your partner’s behavior!

    Think long-term: Do you want to be constantly defending yourself? (hint: you shouldn’t have to). Do you think it will be okay if you and your partner don’t see eye-to-eye on your deeply-held values and beliefs? (hint: you’ll grow resentful and bitter). Do you believe that he or she will change, over time? (hint: it’s not impossible, but it’s highly unlikely). And please… do NOT think that you can ever change another person! It is absolutely not possible. Change is an entirely personal (internal) responsibility. And, if you accept this person’s bad behavior now, why should they ever feel the need to change it later?

    You are worth FAR more! Do not settle! I know this isn’t easy. But, trust me on this: you will save yourself years of grief and heartache by being aware and discerning up front.

    Know your limits. Decide — before you even get into a relationship— what you are, and are not, okay with (remember: think long-term). The whole point of dating, really, is to prepare for marriage … to see whether you and this other person would be compatible as life-long partners. So, keep this in mind as you consider entering into a relationship with someone.

    Read up on relationships — the good, the bad, and the ugly. Learn what the “red flags” are… and if you find even ONE, run away! (trust me on this). You are worth so much better! Do not let fear tell you that you may never find anyone else, or that truly good, loving men (and women) don’t exist — those are LIES! The devil wants to keep you stuck and miserable! (John 10:10). God, on the other hand, wants you to trust Him with your love story! He wants you to trust Him to show you exactly the right person for you. After all, God knows you inside & out, so He also knows who would be the perfect compliment to your life!

    Here are some of my favorite resources:

    And here are a few more links, if you’d like to continue reading:

    Have the courage to be honest with yourself. It takes guts, but you’ll thank yourself later. Know that you don’t have to go it alone. There is always hope!

    {PS… I’ve created my own list of “red flags” to watch out for: Red Flag List}

  • Identity,  Personal

    Who Do You Want To Be?

    Do you have an alter-ego — a vision in your mind of who you would like to become? Maybe you’ve made attempts to change and become that person by making lists of what you need to do to change into that version of yourself. But, what if there was a better way? What if, instead, you focused on the who, rather than the what?

    Who Do You Want To Be? | She Will Rise

    I came across this fantastic quote, a while back:

    Darren Hardy quote

    Powerful stuff. And, it ties right in with what James Clear says about identity-based habits.

    Nia, at SipBlack.net, also wrote about these identity-based habits. She says:

    “You need to become the kind of person who can reach those lofty goals. Be committed to embodying that individual. Then stop thinking like you, and start thinking like that other person… Create someone, if you must… If you won’t get it together, then becomesomeone who will.”

    Nia also writes:

    “Reinventing yourself makes you aware of the sheer power of the mind… you can become anyone you want, do anything you want.”

    So many times we try to begin with deciding to change our actions. And, while this might work for a time, many of us find ourselves falling back into the same old patterns.

    Taking on a new persona, however, is based on a mindset shift… and this, truly, is key to any lasting change.

    I think it’s important to remember here, that what is changing is what you do, when you do it, and how you do it. You aren’t necessarily changing your fundamental beliefs or values.

    For example, my own alter-ego is someone who still holds to Christian beliefs, and values Freedom & Authenticity. However, this “better me” is someone who:

    • follows a daily schedule
    • obeys God without hesitation
    • eats wholesome, nutritious food 90% of the time
    • is capable of defending herself, if need be
    • is confident and secure in who she is
    • etc.

    Basically, she excels where I often find myself lacking. In acting as though I am this other persona, I am just acting in the way I would truly prefer to be acting, anyway. In so doing, I’m leveling up!

    So, if you could reinvent yourself, who would you become? What does this better version of you look like? Feel free to comment below!